My career as an athlete started at a very young age. When I was five years old I remember playing T-ball, which is a modified game of softball. I enjoyed Softball because I loved watching baseball games on television. Other sports I played at a young age were Soccer and Basketball. As my elementary years wore on, I was greatly influenced by the game of basketball thanks to NBA stars that played for the then local Vancouver Grizzlies team such as Mike Bibby and Shareef Abdur-Rahim.
In Grade four, I was still playing soccer, softball and basketball, when I started to play Volleyball at Bondar Elementary in Abbotsford B.C. The teacher who told me to play Volleyball was my Grade four teacher Ms. Greenway. I enjoyed Volleyball because it was a no contact sport.
In my middle school years, I was really getting into basketball and enjoyed playing every chance I got. The event that I looked forward to the most in basketball was March Madness, which is a huge basketball tournament in the States for the NCAA. The tournament was inspirational because the best teams rarely won. As an athlete on my school’s basketball team, I was also not the best. Every year in middle school I was on the basketball team or involved with the basketball team. During these years, I also continued to play Softball and Volleyball. In addition, I started to be a part of the Cross-Country team at Chief Dan George Middle School.
In Grade 9 at W.J. Mouat Secondary, I decided to put an end to most of my sports except for basketball. I was part of the basketball team that year. I never got any playing time, however, I enjoyed every minute of being at practice, on the bench and listening to the coach’s pep talks in the locker room. I continued to be a part of the basketball team until Grade 11. For grade ten P.E., I was very fortunate to have Mr. Kelly as my P.E. teacher. Mr. Kelly, wasn’t only a excellant P.E. teacher, he was and still is arguably one the best high school football coach in Canada. In fact, he told me when University of Washington’s head coach Tyrone Willingham was fired in 2008 that he was going to apply for the new head-coaching job. His inspiration, along with the equipment manager John “Opa” Smeyster’s dedication to the football program made me want to be apart of the football team in Grade 11 and 12.
While still being part of my high school’s football team last year, I was also involved with the John Maclure Community School’s P.E. department. During my year at UFV, I helped set up the gym class and was a mentor/leader for every grade in the school. I continued to reach out to the kids at the Elementary school because of the inspiration of Opa, a volunteer at my high school before his passing in June of 2011. Opa was a mentor to everyone at my high school and cheered everyone up when they were down.